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How to Earn an A+ on Any Test


According to recent research conducted by Indiana University, most students only study three hours each week.  It’s no small wonder that students experience anxiety when     sitting down to take an important test.  Preparation is a critical aspect of having success in all courses.  It is never too early to get ready for your first test. In fact, the very first day that you enter a classroom you are acquiring information that is essential to your success.  Attending class every day starts you on the right path.  It’s important to note that students who miss more than three classes frequently obtain a grade of “C” or less. 

When you miss a class it creates a gap in the amount of information that you need to master your course.  As you wake up each day make a commitment to attend every class whether it is early in the morning or late in the afternoon.  If necessary, identify a partner who will motivate you on days when you don’t feel like going to school.  Remember your teacher is noticing students who attend class and students who do not.  

You must locate a good environment where you can study and feel relaxed. 

Good places to study include the library, an empty class, a student lounge, an empty cafeteria or a book store.  When you arrive at one of these locations prepare to study right away and stay focused.  Sometimes you should study alone and other times feel free to study with a group.  Participation in a study group works best when a subject is extremely difficult because other students can share valuable information during your group sessions.  Organize your notes so that you are able to maximize the amount of information you retain during each study session. Use your study session to identify problems that are unclear and seek information from other students and your instructor.  There are 10 more things you can do to prepare for your test:


  1. Don’t procrastinate on any of your planned study time.


  1. Say no to friends who want you to give up your study time.


  1. Write down a plan which includes items you need to bring to each test preparation session.


  1. Be prepared to memorize and learn materials using 3 X 5 cards, review class notes, review audio or video tapes or draw pictures to remind you of           important concepts.


  1. Organize study groups at least a month prior to final examinations.


  1. Schedule an appointment to meet with every instructor. Have written questions    that you want to ask your instructor.


  1. Review your text book with greater detail and use a dictionary for words you don’t understand.


  1. Use your notes and textbook to develop your own test questions and practice responding to them.


  1. Go to the library and take out other books to supplement your study session.


  1. Eat moderately before you study to ensure that you have adequate energy to think


When you establish a purpose and strategy for your test preparation you are creating a consistent method to earn an A+.  Try to study a minimum of two hours each day and you will have less difficulty increasing your study time at college.   Remember those who fail to plan are planning to fail. After you have all of the information you need you can prepare with the confidence that you will earn one of the highest grades in your class.  Launch into your study session with a level of enthusiasm and the notes will jump off of the page and into your mind.  Have a positive expectation that your grade point average is the highest its’ ever been.  Investing additional quality time will raise your confidence that you have mastered your final examination preparation.  For more preparation strategies purchase Dr. Stephen Jones’ new book “Seven Secrets of How to Study” by visiting call (610) 544-5480.







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Each year thousands of students enter high school thinking about their future. They want to know the best courses to get ready for college.  They may be the first person in their family to consider college and they are not familiar with Advanced Placement (AP) courses. What is an Advanced Placement (AP) course? It is a rigorous course that gives high school students an opportunity to experience college level instruction. Students who take an Advanced Placement test at the end of the year and score a 4 or 5 are eligible to be given college credit. They are rewarded for demonstrating the knowledge that they’ve obtained while in their high school classes. Most students say studying for an AP test is more intense but it is worth it. 

What are the secrets to performing well in an AP course or on an AP test? A student should not wait until their senior year to take all AP courses. The amount of work will overwhelm the student who is enrolled in too many AP classes. A better goal is for each student to challenge themselves to take two or more courses each year.  Each student must ask themselves how hard they are willing to study and to prepare for tests. There are ten benefits that you will receive from enrolling in an AP course:

  1. Advanced placement classes prepare you for the rigor of college '

      2, You will do more and learn more in each of your AP classes

  1. Your instructor will know how to challenge you to get you prepared for college

      4. You will get better preparation for college level math and science classes 

  1.  You will improve your writing skills

      6.  You will be more prepared to have greater success during your first year of college

  1. You will position yourself to earn a 4 or 5 on the AP test at the end of the school year

      8. You benefit from getting more motivated to pursue a college degree

  1.   Start reading and researching a significant amount of information on each class subject 

      10. You’ll gain confidence in your ability to succeed on challenging tests


It is important to be prepared for every AP class. To avoid the pitfalls of procrastination you need to find a quiet place to study.  Devote yourself to researching and asking questions during your classes. You should seek to be very clear on assignments and know the teachers expectation for the class. Create an effective study skills plan that starts with organizing all of your learning materials, books and notes. Begin with the end in mind. Determine what you would like to learn from each course and what grades you want to achieve. Instead of making plans to study at the last minute follow a calendar. Students who want to perform well in AP classes must study for each test at least three to five days ahead of the scheduled test.

When you follow these strategies you are on your way to earning A+ grades in your AP class.  There is one more thing that is a vital factor in your success. You must have a positive attitude and expectation that you will earn a good grade during your AP class. Approach each class believing that you are going to earn an A+ grade and you will be on your way down the road to a successful academic year.


Launch into each study session with enthusiasm and excitement about the new information that you will uncover. It’s important to invest additional quality time studying every day. Remember the formula for success in an AP class is a commitment to critical thinking every day without losing your motivation to pursue your college dream.  Dr. Stephen Jones is an education advocate and author of the Seven Secrets of How to Study and the Ultimate Scholarship Guide. Go on the internet at to order a book or to order by telephone call 610-544-5480.


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